In 1977, when the Sex Pistols needed a new bass player, John Lydon put forward an inexperienced friend. What could possibly go wrong? As this mate was Sid Vicious, plenty. So in ’78, when Lydon chose to recruit yet another novice chum as bassist for Public Image Ltd, it’s fair to say nobody was expecting Jah Wobble to develop into a veteran genre-vaulting virtuoso.
For latecomers, The Usual Suspects is a one-stop shop: 25 career highlights across two CDs (including various bonbons from the PiL catalogue), re-recorded with the latest line-up of the remarkable IOTH. There’s jazz-level musicianship throughout, and yet, crowd pleaser that he is, Wobble never ceases to entertain. As a live date, they’re staggeringly good and The Usual Suspects effectively duplicates the dancehall experience for armchair skankers.
From Metal Box faves Public Image and Socialist to themes from Midnight Cowboy and Get Carter, it’s an utter cheek-tonguing joy from start to finish.